Matchless Spinning Wheel?

I admit it, ever once-in-a-while I get wheel envy. I have (this is the part where I purposefully mumble) five wheels. Okay, perhaps technically it’s a herd. But I need all of img_3973them..okay nevermind no one will believe that argument.

Let’s see, the Kiwi 2; awww…my first wheel. I really do love this wheel. It is amazingly easy to spin on and if I have a tricky fiber, I’ll go to this wheel first because I’m so comfortable with it. I never have to fiddle with it. It just goes and goes. Literally too…it has gone with me to craft fairs to teach kids how to spin, it goes with me to fiber festivals. It is a little buddy that is always predictable.

Then the sidekick. Another great little wheel, and so portable. It’s the one that’s going to PlyAway with me this year and is my new wheel to go to fiber events. It’s gone to a few with me, including up to Meridian Jacobs for a spinning day. I love how portable it is and yet still solid. It’s not quite as ‘sit and go’ as my Kiwi, but is great for a portable wheel.

A8B202F3-4A64-4466-8DBE-7169DCA56648Two antique wheels. Do those count? One a nice classic wheel and the other a sooo cool double wheel. The classic I rarely use, but think I may take it with me for the next craft show just as eye candy and the sooo cool double wheel needs a little restoration. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it is, then actually play with it. I so need more time in my day!

Then the Schacht Flatiron. I do like this wheel. It treadles so smoothly and with the wheel being so big, it can spin fast. Since I prefer long-draw (it’s easier on my hands), I have a tendency to underspin my fiber and the Flatiron goes at a great pace. I have it set up as double drive and keep meaning to try it ST, but haven’t done it yet. As much as I love the Flatiron and know it will spin anything, it is a little finicky. It does need a little more tuning and oil than the Kiwi.

So, now the question of a Matchless. Why? Well, I want to see if they live up to their hype, I’m curious, Will I fall in love like I have with my Kiwi? I really do love the look of them Okay; Why not? I’ve heard they treadle a little harder than the Flatiron. (I don’t have tine to work harder) The wheel ratio isn’t as high as the Flatiron. I suspect they are finicky, and of course the price point is more of a committment. Okay, and there is the storage issue. For someone that is committed to “scaling down” it’s rather hard to then justify six wheel. But…then again…

Oh decisions, decisions, decisions…

Moving from the Louet Victoria to the Schacht Sidekick Spinning Wheel


For me spinning isn’t always an at-home activity; between fiber festivals, workshops, spin-in’s, and demo’s, it’s also a mobile event.

My first try at a mobile wheel was the Louet Victoria. It’s hard to beat her for mobility. She folds up quickly into her little case and unfolds just as fast. Really, it’s lightning quick. But, I never could get into a solid groove with her.

My first issue is just the size of the wheel. Now, at just under 5’2″, I’m not a large person by any means, but sitting comfortably at this little wheel was something that I just couldn’t seem to manage. But an even larger issue for me was the twist and take-up control. I could never quite fine the sweet spot. After taking it to several events, I found myself making excuses to not bring it. That’s about the time I realized that this wheel just wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy spinning on her at all. Luckily, the spinning community tends to be a buy/sell group and it found a new home very quickly.

The Schacht SideKick took her place. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of the look of the Schacht wheels. I appreciate a more traditional look of a spinning wheel. But, a few months ago, with all of the hype about the Flatiron, I took the plunge and ordered one. I fell in love. Spinning is like butter…but that’s another story. So, being SO impressed with the Flatiron, how could I not try the SideKick?

Breaking it down for transportation isn’t nearly as fast as the Victoria. But I really enjoy the way that it spins. After the Flatiron (and even on my Kiwi wheel) I know that I don’t like to treadle fast. I enjoy a relaxed spinning experience. Fast treadling feels more like a workout than a relaxing experience. And, while the need for a workout might be the case, I certainly don’t WANT a workout if I don’t have to have one. The Sidekick has a 13.7″ drive wheel, which is nice. It comes with two whorls and for me the higher speed whorl is a must for this little wheel. The larger whorl’s ratios of 5.7 & 6.8 :1 could work for plying or thick fluffy yarns perhaps, but the faster 8 & 9:1 were much more comfortable.

While the treadling isn’t as effortless as the Flatiron is in Double Drive, it’s still smooth and easy – much smoother than the Victoria. The take-up is gentle and easy to control.

I really appreciated that it came assembled and ready to go. I was up and spinning in less than ten minutes and it was comfortable from the very beginning.

I was thrilled to find it on Amazon since I trust them and with Prime I was able to get free 2 day shipping. Yea Amazon!

Check out the link Schacht Sidekick SpinningWheel W/flyer

The SideKick’s first outing will probably be either a local Spinzilla event or Lambtown. But I’m already enjoying it as a regular spinner at home… what a great wheel.

Spinning at the Winery

What is more fun than getting together and spinning fiber into yarn…getting together and spinning fiber into yarn at a winery of course!

If you are anywhere near Livermore, you’ll definitely want to stop by Retzlaff Vineyards on Saturday, June 3rd from 10am until 4pm when the Treadles to Threads Spinners Guild holds their 20th annual “Spinning at the Winery.” A day of spinning and wine tasting is a great combination!

If you’re a spinner, bring your wheel and a potluck dish you’d like to share. There’s a great raffle and enjoy the entire day for only $5 per person.

A great way to free up room in the fiber studio in preparation for Black Sheep gathering! “Shoot, I’m almost out of fiber, I have no choice but to buy more” (Okay, it’s a stretch…but I’m going with it!)

Fleeces, Fiber, Yarn, Wine & More!